There weren't long queues, nor any
detainees, no cars waiting more than a few minutes each. No
shouting, hitting or shooting. Soldiers, were 'polite', it was the
optimal possible 'convenience' for the Palestinians within limits
of the what cannot be 'abolished' - the checkpoint itself.
Occupation at its best cannot but leave people to sleep outside
their homes, not allowed to return, not allowed to go to work or
the clinic because of not having the right permit, today's permit,
today's right age, or sex. There is no Enlightened Occupation,
there is only 'Occupation'. A family with 7 members, 9 suitcases
got out of a cab at Qalandya South, they were not checked or
detained or questioned, but allowed through, using the
carts/wheelbarrows used to carry things from one side of the
checkpoint to the other.
Qalandya North. An ambulance was let through without being checked.
A man arrived. The day before a border police jeep took away his ID
for no clear reason, and told him to claim it in Qalandya. The Id
wasn't there, not yesterday, no today. Someone at the Ramallah DCO
suggested that the man go to Beit El the next day and file a
complaint about having his ID taken and lost by soldiers, then he
will receive a substitute temporary one. Will he?? Then came a
deputy company commander, who just wouldn't let anybody without a
permit. "I work like a robot", he readily admitted. He
asked the soldiers what was the rule concerning female students.
Not to allow them pass, he was told, which he dutifully
followed/executed. They have two ways with which they help people
pass, explained an officer: One, go to Beit El and get a permit.
The other is the sign telling them not to pass northwards, or
else... We were rather stunned 'at' this logic.